Why we haven't made an impact in the war on cancer (and what needs to be done)

In a speech at TEDMED 2010, University of Southern California medical professor David Agus explains why, in 50 years' time, researchers have made almost no impact in the war on cancer.

In a speech at TEDMED 2010, University of Southern California medical professor David Agus explains why, in five decades' time, researchers have made almost no impact in the war on cancer.

The Director of the USC Center for Applied Molecular Medicine explains why we've only come to understand, but not control cancer, and forecasts what kind of "radically different" approach can properly treat cancer.

A few of Agus' points:

  • Cancer is the disease of the aged
  • It's not selected against by evolution
  • It's heterogeneous and itself evolves
  • $1 billion funding Cancer Genome Atlas Project will sequence cancer genes
  • "It is absolutely archaic" that we identify cancer by its body part, since it doesn't tell us anything about the cancer itself
  • "Nobody has ever shown that most chemotherapy has actually touched a cancer cell."
  • The most cost-effective treatment: prevention
  • The field that physicists, mathematicians and medical scientists are using to approach a solution: proteomics

Here's Agus outlining his plan to battle cancer:

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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